American and French Healthcare Systems

Introduction

Providing health care for citizens is a basic necessity for any country in the world. Without a doubt, a healthy nation can develop faster than one whose citizens are bogged down with health challenges unaware of how to deal with them.

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This paper compares and contrasts healthcare systems in the United States and France. My choice of France is informed by the fact that France is known worldwide for its ability to provide quality health care services for its citizens. In the year 2000, the French health care system was ranked at the very top by the World Health Organization.

Health Statistics and Costs

This section compares the health statistics and costs of the United States and France. The statistics include life expectancy, infant mortality rate, health conditions, and percentage of gross domestic product and per capita expenditure on health care.

The United States

Generally, life expectancy is lower in the United States. Currently, it is approximately 77.5%. According to the CDC (2016), life expectancy for females at birth is 81.2 years while it is 76.4 for males. The infant mortality rate is higher in the US than in most other developed nations. As far as death is concerned, research indicates that major deaths in the United States are linked to heart, cancer, and respiratory conditions.

France

France has a life expectancy of 79.5% and an infant mortality rate of 4 out of 1000 live births. France’s per capita expenditure on health care is USD 3,464. The overall health care cost as a percentage of France’s gross domestic product is estimated at 10.5%. In France, lung cancer And breast cancer are regarded as the major causes of death.

Comparison of Countries

As earlier explained, life expectancy in the United States is lower than in France. On the other hand, the infant mortality rate is higher in the United States than in France. According to Chua (2006), the percentage of gross domestic product and per capita expenditure in the United States is almost twice that of France.

Health Care Financing

This section discusses how health care is financed in the United States and France. Specifically, it looks at how health care is financed in the United States and France.

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The United States

In the United States, health care is financed largely by the government through taxation (Chua, 2006). This is, however, supplemented by private insurance companies.

France

The financing of health care in France is largely the responsibility of both government and the private sector. To improve health care provision, every citizen in France has to be registered by an insurance fund according to his or her occupation. A substantial number of citizens also subscribe to additional health care insurance covers to supplement what the government is not able to effectively cater to.

Comparison of Countries

In both countries, funds are collected through taxation. However, France also relies on income from tobacco, alcohol, and pharmaceuticals to add on to what is fetched through taxation.

In providing health care services to its citizens, France has been able to reduce expenses using a well-subsidized education system that allows medical students to study for free. Consequently, the amount of money paid to doctors for any services offered is not so much. This greatly contributes to the affordability of health care services in France.

On the contrary, doctors in the United States are very expensive because the cost of attending a medical school in the United States is quite high. Besides, doctors in the United States have to be paid for undertaking more interventions out of fear that they can be sued by unhappy patients.

Health Care Administration

This section looks at how health care is administered in the two countries and identifies the responsible organizations.

The United States

Several organizations are involved in the administration of health care in the United States. One of these organizations is the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) that is heavily involved in research activities meant to improve health care quality (AHRQ, 2014). Other stakeholders include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Ministry of Health, and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Through the work undertaken by these organizations, American citizens and health care providers are empowered with the information needed to make informed decisions.

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France

Medical facilities in France are generally categorized into two. Some are owned and run by the state and those that are managed by private organizations. Administratively, the French health care system is managed from a central point by the Ministry of Health. Other institutions such as the National Health Service are concerned with the management of health care funds.

Comparison of Countries

In both countries, the administration of health care is managed by several organizations. However, the government plays a very important role in the overall management of the health care system in France.

Health Care Personnel and Facilities

This section looks at the distribution of health care personnel in the two countries.

The United States

According to Shay and Schumacher (2014), the ratio of physicians to patients in the United States is estimated to be 1 physician to 390. This is a clear indication that the country needs more physicians to ensure that patients received appropriate care.

France

The ratio of physicians to patients in France is presumed to 1 physician to 300 patients (Shay & Schumacher, 2014). Even though the situation appears better in France, it is obvious that physicians are overwhelmed with the amount of work that has to be done.

Comparison of Countries

The governments in the two countries have a responsibility to work with all stakeholders to increase the number of physicians. Doing so will give physicians an easy time and ensure that all patients are well taken care of. However, the realization of this objective will require governments in both countries to increase health care funding. It is thus imperative for the governments to collaborate with all stakeholders and come up with strategies to increase health care funding.

Conclusion

Compared to France, the United States has the highest number of disparities and uninsured. Ostensibly, the number of uninsured in the United States is close to 32 million people (Jackson & Nolen, 2010). Efforts are being made to keep this number low. As pointed out by AHRQ (2014), race plays a big role in determining who accesses health care services. People are denied health care insurance because they belong to a certain race. While efforts are being made by the two countries to address the problem of health care, a lot is yet to be done by all the parties involved.

References

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). (2014). Disparities in Healthcare Quality among Racial and Ethnic Groups: Selected Findings from the 2010 National Healthcare Quality and Disparity Reports. Web.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2016). FastStats: How Healthy are We? Web.

Chua, K. (2006). Overview of the U.S. Healthcare System. Web.

Jackson, J. & Nolen, J. (2010). Health Care Reform Summary: A Look at What’s in the Act. Web.

Shay, P. & Schumacher, E. (2014). U.S. Health Care Delivery: An Overview. San Antonio, TX: Trinity University.

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StudyCorgi. (2020, November 22). American and French Healthcare Systems. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/american-and-french-healthcare-systems/

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"American and French Healthcare Systems." StudyCorgi, 22 Nov. 2020, studycorgi.com/american-and-french-healthcare-systems/.

1. StudyCorgi. "American and French Healthcare Systems." November 22, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/american-and-french-healthcare-systems/.


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StudyCorgi. "American and French Healthcare Systems." November 22, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/american-and-french-healthcare-systems/.

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StudyCorgi. 2020. "American and French Healthcare Systems." November 22, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/american-and-french-healthcare-systems/.

References

StudyCorgi. (2020) 'American and French Healthcare Systems'. 22 November.

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